Seeing the Future of Energy: Villanova Students Visit Bloom Energy

Nested amongst a seemingly endless array of technology powerhouses in Sunnyvale, CA, Bloom Energy is setting the metaphorical bar high with its fuel cell systems. Producing refrigerator-like systems that take an input source to chemically and electrically produce energy, Bloom focuses on creating a culture focused on sustainability. Their units boast high efficiency ratings, little-to-no output noise, and small installation spaces. We had the opportunity to tour both areas of production and areas of installation, which showed how intricate the systems truly are. Having the opportunity to visit Bloom Energy today was truly unparalleled, and we were able to ask a variety of questions from marketing to equipment technicalities.

Throughout our experience at Bloom Energy, we were able to see the unique culture of the Valley at work—a culture which strongly focuses on protecting the environment in the long term. Changes in East Coast versus West Coast cultures are apparent, even merely one day into our Silicon Valley experience. Some notable changes include the immediate presence of many electric vehicle charging stations, the overwhelming presence of compost and recycle bins, and the conscious effort to uphold environmental standards, exerted by the people. Each company we visited today made mention of their commitment to sustainability and cleanliness, most of which mentioned increasing the percentage of recycled materials throughout their services. Bloom Energy was also mentioned as part of another company’s commitment to sourcing their power through renewable energy.

The visit sparked numerous conversations amongst our group about where our various disciplines would fit into a company like Bloom Energy, which leads the rest of the world in fuel cell production, technology, and engineering. We students are learning from not only the companies we visit, but also from the various experiences of other members of the Villanova community. As we progress throughout the week, I am optimistic that we will continue to learn about where our skill sets fit within a market and we will continue to think critically about the mission statements that each of the companies we visit hold.

For more updates on our experiences in Silicon Valley, follow @VillanovaICE on Twitter or add @VillanovaU on Snapchat!